How you got into Puroresu?

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DETROIT_KEJB
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How you got into Puroresu?

Post by DETROIT_KEJB » Wed May 11, 2016 6:28 pm

I was driving around today listening to a few wrestling shows and got to thinking about how I originally got sucked into this subculture within a subculture. I think it would be cool for people to post their age and their path into becoming a fan of Japanese wrestling.

For me. I'm 32. I have been a wrestling fans for as far back as my mind can go. WWF was obviously HUGE when I was a kid, and although we did watch WWF, my entire family was NWA/WCW fans.

I remember my first real exposure with Japan was when WCW held a joint show with NJPW and they aired clips on WCW. I remember how cool Great Muta looked and was very surprised to see Sting lose to him. Then clips of Flair losing to Fujinami in the main event and I has to find out how these guys beat the dudes who, at the time, were what I considered the best in the world. Great Muta to a seven year old kid was freaking mystical.

After that I didn't really have that much exposure outside of the random times Japanese guys would show up on a WCW PPV. Once I hit my teens it was the MNW era and nWo Japan was a thing. That's when I really remember first seeing Chono or Tenzan. I went to an independent wrestling show and bought a VHS from JT Lightning that had G1 matches on it. I tried to figure out specifically, but Wikipedia makes me think it was an assortment of matches from a few different years.

I didn't get the internet until I was 18 so we're talking 2001/2. After that, it was on like Donkey Kong. I would search for groups on AOL Instant Messenger and download sketchy match links that would take whole days and probably fuck my parents computer.

I started posting on forums like DVDVR, wrestlecrap, puroresufan. I downloaded sooooooo much stuff from Ditch's various site. I think I spent more time watching Kobashi/Misawa/Kawada or Muta/Chono/Hashimoto then I did studying or working. I stopped watching WWE all together during this time. It was all Japan. Mostly old matches tho. I got really into UWFi and then Battlearts.

Somehow that transitioned into actually following NJPW. I don't know if it was Shibata or Nakamura. Hell, it might have been Kaz Fujita or Lesnar coming over. Since then I have been pretty in tuned to NJPW with all the other Japan stuff sprinkled in at various quantities.

With a career and a family now, the amount of time and ability to keep up is really really hard, but I think of it as my main hobby.

Anyways, I think it will be cool to hear a lot of your stories. There has been some petty bullshit on here the past few days and maybe a thread like this can bring everyone back down to earth.

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HeadCheese
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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by HeadCheese » Wed May 11, 2016 8:26 pm

Ebessan vs. Kuishinbo Kamen
Power Struggle Davey Richards & Rocky Romero vs. KUSHIDA & Tiger Mask
and DDT Ladder Hardcore Battle Royal

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Statoke
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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by Statoke » Wed May 11, 2016 9:15 pm

Returned to wrestling in 2009 after many years of absence and decided to look up what my favourite wrestler ever, Tajiri, was doing. Came across Tajiri/Tanaka vs Nagata/Akebono and the rest of Wrestle Kingdom IV. Also found out he was starting his own promotions SMASH. After watching SMASH.1 I fell in love with KUSHIDA and followed him and SMASH religiously, I even made his Wikipedia page. KUSHIDA is incredibly important to me becoming a puro fan, without him I don't know if I'd be here today. I watched everything from SMASH (and later WNC) and still affects me today. I still follow the SMASH/WNC babys like Ohara, Kodama, Syuri and Jiro and guys who've been there have automatic love like Zeus and Bodyguard.

Got into New Japan thanks to KUSHIDA when he joined but my fandom was cemented by guys like Devitt and Okada who were killing it. King of Pro Wrestling 2012 is a super important show to me as it marked the first time I could easily get New Japan thanks to UStream. Also got into DG around this time. It wasn't until the end of 2014 when I discovered VoW that I was exposed to the community and all the other puro out there.
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mrjoshdude
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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by mrjoshdude » Wed May 11, 2016 9:17 pm

When I was younger I remember getting a Rey Mysterio DVD since he was my favourite when I was little, I can't remember what it was called though, I might still have it. Anyway, on it I saw a match with Rey vs Jushin Liger in WCW and quickly took to the interwebz to find more of this guy. I remember finding a match with Jushin vs Ultimo Dragon from 1997, Ultimo Dragon was someone I also recognised from the Rey Mysterio DVD so I jumped on that. After that I spent hours going through the recommended vids watching more and more. Eventually came across a Kobashi-Misawa match from 98 and very quickly fell into 90s All Japan. After I left high school and went to college I found I didn't really have the time to watch much wrestling outside of the stuff on my TV once a week. A few years later I decided to give the G1 (2014) a watch because of the rave reviews I'd heard about the 2013 one. So that was my into modern New Japan and from there my love of puro was reawakened. I try to watch as much as my schedule will allow these days but mainly stay up to date with New Japan and Dragon Gate at a minimum.

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mprentice84
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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by mprentice84 » Wed May 11, 2016 9:58 pm

I started tape trading though newsletters and the internet when I was barely 13. We got ECW TV where I grew up, which were always a hot item. The first Japan tape that I ever received was Super J Cup 94. From there, I dove in and curated a respectable set of Japan tapes, mainly All Japan, New Japan, and Vale Tudo. I was always months or years behind though and would read results for shows that I wouldn't see for a long time. I suppose that's why i'm unfazed by spoilers and cannot understand the people whining about them nowadays. Anyways, a couple years ago I ended up donating pretty much my entire collection of VHS and DVD. My wife and I were downsizing for a move to South Florida and we ended up going digital with everything expect books. I like my paper books.

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Garuda
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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by Garuda » Wed May 11, 2016 11:17 pm

I'm a newcomer, really. I got back into wrestling after a long gap in 2014. But I was primarily a WWE guy before, and soon WWE was driving me to explore all the buzz about this New Japan wrestling. It was a gif on /r/squaredcircle showing Shibata's entrance against Tanahashi in the G1 that got me to pull the trigger and see what the G1 was all about. I loved it, and never looked back. In searching for coverage of the G1 I found this site, and have been a fan ever since.

Wrestling isn't my only hobby, so I try to catch what I can. Puro-wise I watch all of New Japan, and I've been getting into Dragon Gate ever since the 101 series. I try to catch big matches from other promotions when I hear about them. I'd love to watch more Big Japan or STARDOM, but I only have so much time in my life to watch wrestling.

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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by ChutiyaHogaTeraBaap » Thu May 12, 2016 2:28 am

Tanahashi/Okada WK7. Friend recommended me 2 check it out.

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Shining Wiz
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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by Shining Wiz » Thu May 12, 2016 2:42 am

I'm 36. First exposure to puro would have been 86 or 87 in various Apter mags. Wouldn't have seen any actual matches for a long time, but the imagination can do wonders for a nerdy kid.

Would have seen some matches on an old show Ed Whalen hosted on TSN in the late 80's after Stampede went under, plus being aware of guys on excursions. Chino held the AGPW tag belts in my area in 87 or 88, etc...

Got into comp tapes from RF in mid-late 90's, and some stuff here and there when available. Fell out of hardcore fandom in the 2000's in university, etc, but would dl matches when available, and still followed in written form. Hard to believe that less than 15 years ago, dl'ing a single match could take hours, and the quality sucked.

Anyhow, NJPW's ustream era got me back, probably about 6 months in when I realized how good it was again, and it filled my quality wrestling void. From there, stumbled onto the VOW podcast which filled in some blanks for me, and even went so far as to get me a pro graps Twitter (was twitless previously).

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suplexberry
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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by suplexberry » Thu May 12, 2016 5:45 am

In my late 20's, and a very fresh fan of puro. I had a friend I made at an indy event in 2013 explain who Jushin Liger was since he had a lock screen picture of him on his phone. This friend e-mailed me recommendations of NJPW matches, primarily G1 ones but when I tried watching them, they kind of just didn't 'click' with me. I think I was too new to the more technical style of wrestling to get it. (I'd watched Smackdown as a kid but only got back into WWE like 4 months back at this point.)

About a year passed and by then I'd seen more variety in wrestling, seen some Tiger Mask vs Dynamite Kid after hearing Bret Hart talk about it, watched some of Owen's matches in Japan etc. Then I ran into Shinsuke Nakamura's name on social media a lot, so I watched a match of his and was instantly hooked. I started buying NJPW's events on ustream, including spending a boatload on that year's G1, and because I loved Ibushi, I started to dig through DDT as well.

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itsberlo
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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by itsberlo » Tue May 31, 2016 2:13 pm

My first exposure to anything Puro related was in 1989 when I saw the Great Muta for the first time in NWA. I was so young that I did not do any digging on where he came from nor did I have the wherewithal to think there was wrestling in Japan. I thought he was so cool and whenever NWA TV came on I was always hoping he would be on that episode.

Fast forward to 1992 and WCW Superbrawl 2. The infamous Brian Pillman vs Jushin "Thunder" Liger match had this little 12 year old jumping off patios and sheds like a mad man. I thought the style was so cool and I wanted to be like my new superhero, Thunder Liger. I couldn't wait to watch this Liger fellow again but after a few short weeks I never saw him on TV. I was very frustrated but still had no clue that there was wrestling elsewhere. This is until 5 years later where my wrestling mind was blown.

In 1997, I went over to a friends house and he asked me if I ever heard of Misawa. I replied with " Misaw....what?" He said recently traded some of his WWF master tapes and got back a whole bunch of Japanese wrestling. He then popped in Misawa vs Kobashi from 1/20/1997 and for 30+ plus minutes my eyes were open to a whole new world. It was at that point where I told myself no matter what I was going to find as much puro as I could. We found everything from the Super J Cup 94 to Dreamslam 1993 to W*ng , thanks to Pro-WrestlingTapes.com. The addiction was real and no not the Daniels and Kazarian "Addiction".

My love for puro is as strong today as it was back then. The only difference is finding wrestling today is just one click away.

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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by pacosilva92 » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:56 am

There was a lot of buzz about the Invasion Attack Okada vs Tanahashi even in the spanish WWE and TNA centric website that I follow since I'm into wrestling, so I watch the match on Youtube in a bus ride from college to my town. I liked the match, but this was my first exposure to the product and I felt like something was missing. A couple of months passed, and Dominion happened. The show was getting stellar reviews, but I wasn't following New Japan. I figured that if I watched the show completely without context I would miss things, like in the Tanahashi vs Okada match. The solution? I downloaded every NJPW mayor show since King of Pro-Wrestling (the one with Tanahashi vs Suzuki in the main event) 'till Dominion and watched them all in a few days. This is my favorite experience ever of watching wrestling, aside the G-1 tournaments of 2013 and 2014, it was like a door to a completely new world.

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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by Buzz Sawyer » Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:40 am

When that thing the Internet took off in around 1996 or so. Started with the Death Match Garbage and then went to some real wrestling like NJPW/NOAH/AJPW. Got hooked on the early 90's AJPW with my main man Stan Hansen, Steve Williams, Terry Gordy and the crew.
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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by cheapshot » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:46 am

Superstars of Wrestling magazine and Eurosport showing NJPW in 1993 was my gateway.
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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by Napalm Death » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:08 am

Wrestle Kingdom 2 or 3 when it was on the torrents to be honest.
Was blown away by the difference with US style.

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Headlock
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Re: How you got into Puroresu?

Post by Headlock » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:52 am

There is a German podcast Hosted by STRIGGA & a guy named CM Flosh called Straight Wrestling, after I heard how exited they where about Wrestle Kingdom 8, since I gave up on WWE a bit earlier I decided to check it out and since I hadn't really an apealing enough alternative I sticked with NJ, until I found a little Gem of a match, the Dream Gate match between Masato Yoshino and Ricochet, I became instantly hooked with the Product of DG and never looked back since
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